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Primer is one of those things many people don’t realize they need until they’ve tried it. If you are interested in keeping your look in place, primer is about to become your new best friend.
It acts as a barrier between your skin and your foundation, concealer, etc., which is great because it prevents makeup from sinking into your pores, and instead keeps it on your face. Even better, there are several options for every skin type and concern out there. Some are matte and help keep oil away, while others moisturize and plump skin. Whatever your focus, these primers will help smooth out your skin’s texture and create a canvas for even, streak-free makeup application.
Best for Oily Skin: Revlon Prime & Anti Shine Balm
When it comes to makeup, one thing is for sure: shine ain’t fine. That is precisely why we’re so obsessed with Revlon’s Prime and Anti-Shine Balm. Not only does it set a superb base for anyone with combination to oily skin, but it can also be used to banish shine that surfaces throughout the day without leaving behind a powdery filter. This can be used as an oil-preventing primer applied after moisturizer and before foundation or bb cream. Still, this primer can even be worn alone. The super soft balm glides onto skin like velvet and keeps skin grease-free for hours on end.
Best Eye Primer: Milani Eyeshadow Primer
Eyeshadow primers tend to be thicker than face primers, however, this one has the perfect texture that is neither greasey, creasey, shiney, or drying. It blends seamlessly onto your eyelid without causing patchiness and doesn’t have to be applied in a fancy way—just dab a pea-sized amount onto your finger and cover your whole eyelid up to your brow before brushing on eyeshadow. Reviewers recommend letting it dry for a minute before adding eyeshadow. Just a little bit will significantly improve your pigment’s color payoff and will keep your look in place all night.
Best for Dry Skin: e.l.f. Hydrating Primer
Having a hydrated base is the secret to even makeup application. So, if your skin runs on the drier side, you should consider adding this moisturizing option to your lineup. Just a few pumps of this magical potion and you won’t have to worry about your foundation settling into fine lines, wrinkles, and dry spots. The lightweight-yet-nourishing formula is infused with vitamins A, C, and E to help hydrate skin and prevent makeup from feeling caked on. Thanks to this, even the driest skin types can now wear matte foundation without having dry patches and flakiness peek through. Hallelujah!
Best Lip Primer: NYX Lip Primer
Drink coffee, munch on some snacks, or go on a gossip spree. No matter what your do, this top-rated lip primer will keep your pout in place. The smoothing stick preps lips and helps boost color for a more sophisticated look. Not only does it intensify pigment, but it also significantly extends the wear of your lipstick. Without drying out your lips, just a swipe of this will prevent lippy from feathering into fine lines and smudging throughout the day. Plus, it really gives lipstick something to grab onto and even makes lipgloss and the creamiest formulas stay put for hours.
Best Budget Face Primer: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
YouTube vloggers call this oil-free gel "Photoshop in a bottle." You can mix the clear primer with your foundation or apply it directly on skin. Either way, it blurs imperfections, gives skin a porcelain base, and keeps makeup in place. Great for all skin types, oily skin will feel matte, flawless, and brightened, while dry skin remains hydrated and cake-free. All you need is a dab of this silky fragrance-free formula to achieve dewy, plump, poreless perfection.
Best Matte Primer: Rimmel Stay Matte Primer
Sweaty summers in the city and shiny skin have gone hand-in-hand until this matte primer came to town. You can finally leave your blotting papers at home because no matter the weather, this creamy primer will keep your look put without leaving you like an oil slick. If you are oily all over, feel free to spread the lotion-like fluid across your entire face. However, if you have combination skin, we suggest avoiding drier areas and just applying it where you tend to shine. Parts of your face that you never thought could stay matte (think t-zone, nose, chin) will be smooth and smudge-free no matter what.
Best Mascara Primer: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Primer Mascara
Amp up the volume and wear of your mascara with a swipe of this lash primer. If you like big fringe sans flakiness, then you will never want to wear mascara again without this primer. The nourishing formula makes lashes appear thicker and longer while acting as a mascara magnet.
Like most mascara primers, it's easy for lashes to look goopy—to avoid this, carefully comb through each lash when applying it. Then, let the primer dry for 30 seconds (ish) before coating with mascara. The product goes on white, which might make you feel ridiculous at first, but you’ll quickly realize that it’s worth the weirdness.